Atomizing Nozzle Used in Copper Forming Applications

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EXAIR Atomizing Nozzle, Narrow, Round Spray Pattern

 

Copper and its alloys are used in a variety of products from consumer goods like musical instruments, drawer and door pulls, wind chimes, electrical contacts and many other, similar parts that you do not see on more complicated pieces of equipment such as HVAC systems.

Comparatively speaking, copper is quite a malleable metal. That’s what makes it so useful for manufacturing processes such as expanding, reducing, flaring, beading and other similar processes that don’t necessarily involve a cutting or grinding action on the material, but rather a tool that comes into contact with the material to impart a specific shape that makes the made part beneficial to some other product or process.

And so, in the metal forming process, you generally have a hardened alloy tool that comes into contact with the soft copper (or brass) to impart one of the above mentioned effects to the material. With the metal forming process, you have friction that needs to be reduced substantially to aid in the forming process while maintaining the tool integrity and keeping heat generation to a minimum. There are a variety of oil-based lubricants that companies who specialize in this kind of processing, will use to lubricate the raw part prior to forming.

This is the point within the process where EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles can play a significant role in application of the lubrication. By atomizing the lubricant, the customer can have a controlled, even application of the lubricant to the tooling and/or material surface prior to putting the material through the forming operation. By applying a controlled layer of atomized lubricant, the customer can apply the lubricant in a sparingly manner to conserve on how much is used for each part formed. They get the benefit of the lubrication without over-doing it and wasting excess volume of lube applied. This, in turn, allows for a cleaner and safer processing area as well as measurable cost savings for the lubricant as well.

For lower viscosity lubricants (< 300 cP) that require only a light application of material, we have model AN1010SS which can provide a Narrow, Round spray pattern to coat smaller parts. If the part is larger or perhaps starts out as a sheet, we do also have model AW1030SS which can provide a Flat, Wide Angle spray pattern. If the lubricant has a viscosity that is higher than 300 cP, we also have a series of External Mix Atomizing Nozzles with similar spray flow patterns that can be selected for high precision adjustment of the liquid flow and droplet size to suit any need.

If you are in the metal forming industry and you are concerned with application of lubricants in your applications, we be glad to help you pick an Atomizing Nozzle to suit your needs. Contact us to discuss your application.

Neal Raker, International Sales Manager
nealraker@exair.com
@EXAIR_NR

Internal Mix Atomizing Nozzle for Roll-forming Application

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Roll-formed metal stud material

Our distributor from South Africa contacted me recently with a problem that one of his customers were having with their roll forming process. Their business is making metal studs used for erecting walls and covering with drywall. The metal studs start out as a 200 mm wide x 0.5 mm thick roll of sheet metal. The customer feeds the sheet metal through a series of rolling dies that gradually impart the final shape of a metal stud to the material. During this process, a lubricant is applied through a couple of metal pipes with drilled holes in them to disperse the lubricant onto the metal sheet.

The problem with the application is that it makes a total mess because there aren’t any controls on the fluid flow to keep the application rate where it needs to be. All they need is a light coating of the lubricant. What they’re getting now is a constant drizzle from multiple holes. Not only is this wasteful for the use of the lubricant, it causes a huge mess in the form of puddled lubricant on the floor. This problem also presents a slip and fall hazard to the operators as well. See the photo below.

 

 

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Application of lubricant through drilled, metal pipe

In an effort to help them, my friend Wayne contacted me about the situation and presented a couple of scenarios he had in mind. One was to keep the existing system in place and use a couple of Super Air Knives to blow off the excess lubricant into a catch basin. The other was to apply a couple of our Internal Mix, Wide, Flat Atomizing nozzles into the application to provide a fine spray of the lubricant on both sides of the sheet metal.

After asking a few questions about whether the liquid was under any sort of pressure, its viscosity and the desired application rate I suggested to Wayne that the customer go with (2) pieces of model AF1010SS Internal Mix, Flat Fan Atomizing Nozzle. This Atomizing nozzle is more than adequate to provide the customer with the precise amount of the lubricant onto the sheet metal just prior to forming. The point in recommending the atomizing nozzles is to conserve the customer’s lubricant when it is applied in the first place so that they don’t have the huge mess that ends up developing during continuous operation. In this way, they are not treating a symptom of the problem by blowing the excess lubricant with a Super Air Knife, but rather tackling the problem right at its source by choking back on the application of the fluid in the first place.

After the customer installed their nozzles and made a production run, they were able to dial the application rate in to exactly what they needed. The mess and safety hazard went away and the customer was able to cut their lubricant use by half so far. They say they will continue to try and optimize its use as saving the lubricant used represented a nice cost savings to the customer that they had not thought about prior to engaging our distributor to help them take away this headache. They were simply concerned about the mess in the beginning.

It’s always nice to have such positive knock-on effect when you make process improvements like this.

Neal Raker, International Sales Manager
nealraker@exair.com
@EXAIR_NR